Continuing a 15-year-old tradition, the Miss Loudoun County Fair Pageant Sunday evening officially commenced the annual Loudoun County Fair, as 17 girls competed for titles in three divisions.
Madi Abbe was named Miss Loudoun County Fair, over opponent Amy Brown. Katie Vanik took the title of Junior Miss, outpacing nine other contestants ages 12 to 15. And Bea Furlow was named Little Miss, over five other girls in that division for ages 8 to 11.
Bea, a 9-year-old from Round Hill, said she entered the pageant after she’d watched older girls compete in the event for years. “It sounded like a fun idea, so I figured I’d give it a try,” she said. “And it’s been a good experience.”
Friends and family of pageant contestants crowded into the show barn on the county fairgrounds to see the girls in their casual attire and evening wear and take questions on agriculture and their involvement in 4H.
Asked whether agriculture is still relevant in Loudoun today, Abbe, a sophomore at Loudoun Valley High School, said it is, and that 4-H plays a big role in ensuring its role in the county now and in the future. “These days, free time usually refers to screen time,” she said, noting that the new Pokémon Go smart phone game does lure young people outside. “But 4-H gets kids excited about agriculture and pulls them away from the screen.”
Judges for the competition were Charli Wacker, of Ride-On-Ranch in Lovettsville; Kristen Dillon, former Loudoun County Junior Miss and Dairy Duchess; and Amy Long, of Long Meadows Farm in Winchester. The event was coordinated by pageant Director Cary Brown and Assistant Director Jacquelyn Noel.
The Loudoun County Fair opens to the public today, with sheep, goat and beef weigh-ins in the early afternoon, the carnival opening at 4 p.m. and a hay bale toss competition at 8:30 p.m., among other events. See the full schedule at loudouncountyfair.com/schedule.
The fair opens at 9 a.m. each day and runs through Saturday at the county fairgrounds, 17564 Dry Mill Road near Leesburg. Single-day tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for children except $1 on Wednesday. Weekly passes are $30 for adults, $15 for children and $70 for family. Parking is free. Find details at loudouncountyfair.com.